Issue 58 April 2024

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Lead Ammunition

Latest News from the GTA

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Issues & Events|October 2023

News on lead shot and its future (or lack of one) arrived today from the Gun Trade Association, who have been working very hard to represent the interests of us all in this matter, and with some success, as will become evident.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have published their long-awaited Socio-economic consultation on the restriction of lead in ammunition.  This includes their current ‘opinion’ on where they think restrictions will lie.

While these restrictions will have a significant effect on GB shooting, they are far less punitive than was originally proposed.  Their proposals now show that they have accepted the extensive evidence that the GTA has submitted over the last 2 years. 

The headlines are:

The use of lead shot for live quarry shooting would be prohibited. (5 year transition from enactment to deal with industrial realities (as only the GTA requested)).

The use of lead shot for target shooting would be prohibited. However, a derogation will allow for a small number of athletes, as identified by the appropriate sporting body (for example British Shooting), that are required to continue shooting lead shot for the purposes of international competition and training. (Again 5 year transition)

The sale or trade of lead shot (for a price or otherwise) would be prohibited. However, a derogation will allow for those athletes referenced above to continue to source the lead shot required for international competition and training.

The sale or trade of lead bullets (for a price or otherwise) would not be prohibited, since these would continue to be available for indoor shooting which is out of scope of this restriction.

The use of lead bullets for live quarry shooting would not be prohibited. (Part of our representation – quoting change is already occurring in the market place and led by consumer demand)

The use of lead bullets for outdoor target shooting would be prohibited. However, a derogation would allow for this use to continue at sites that have controls in place to reduce the identified risks to the environment, and documentation indicating why these controls are appropriate. In practise, these controls, which include de-leading of ranges, are broadly expected to be in place by the majority of existing outdoor shooting ranges.  This means that the majority of outdoor shooting ranges could continue to operate and allow the use of lead bullets.

The use of lead ammunition in air weapons would not be prohibited. (A major GTA objective)

The sale or trade of lead ammunition for air weapons (for a price or otherwise) would not be prohibited.  

Thsi is not final but it does represent progress and is good news for the trade, while confirming the beginning of the end for lead shotgun ammunition.

Thank you to Simon West and the GTA for updating us.

Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on

Issues & Events|October 2023

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